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Okanagan Skaha school district budget falls short despite school closures

FILE PHOTO - Okanagan Skaha School District must find over $290,000 to make up for a shortfall prior to finalizing the 2016/2017 school budget.
May 02, 2016 - 11:30 AM

PENTICTON - Even after taking into account the drastic spending cuts achieved by closing three schools, Okanagan Skaha School District still faces a shortfall as the deadline for approval of the 2016/2017 budget looms.

School District 67 trustee Ginny Manning says the revenue shortfall amounts to over $290,000.

The school board expects to save over $1.1 million from the school closures and $540,000 in teacher pension savings, but that’s still not enough to keep the budget in the black.

Manning says the board will look at four possible scenarios to balance the budget:
1. Use $250,000 of reserves and take $41,942 from possible budget surpluses from 2015/2016.
2. Use $250,000 of reserves and cut 2016/2017 budget allocations for the additional $41,942.
3. Hold $250,000 in reserve and allocate the total shortfall amount of $292,942 from a possible 2015/2016 budget surplus.
4. Cut the full amount of shortfall from this year’s allocation.

Manning says the budget was presented on April 27 at a public meeting attended by approximately 18 people. The budget moves to first and second reading at the May 9 public meeting with final reading and adoption expected on June 13. The budget must be submitted to the Ministry of Education no later than June 30. Public feedback will be accepted until May 7.


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